New York Yankees: There’s no better role for Sabathia than in the bullpen

New York Yankees, Yankees, CC Sabathia

The New York Yankees have made the decision that they would ultimately put their 19-year veteran C.C. Sabathia into the bullpen for the postseason.

“CC will pitch out of the pen at least a couple of times,” said manager Aaron Boone. “He will probably pitch once in Tampa and hopefully again in Texas. … The first time will be a little bit more of a controlled setting where he knows he is coming in. If that goes well maybe do it a little bit more on the fly over the weekend.”

Sabathia worked a perfect fourth inning for the Yankees during their 2-1 loss against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night. His cutter and off-speed pitches looked great and he looked confidence being in that role.

The 39-year-old will “probably” come out of the bullpen again Saturday against the Texas Rangers, said pitching coach Larry Rothschild. They are building him up and making sure he’s comfortable to do this role for the postseason.

At this point in his career, Sabathia is best in a relief role. He’s struggled all year long with going the distance, so one or two innings of work from a seasoned veteran would be great for the Yankees. It’s also a huge bonus to have another quality left-hander coming off the bench.

The only concern with this plan is that Sabathia has been a starter for his whole career and he may not be used to this style of pitching. The only other time Sabathia has come out of the bullpen was during the 2011 season when the Yankees played the Detriot Tigers for the ALDS where Sabathia pitched 1 1/3 innings.

Sabathia, who is planning to retire after this season, is credited to a 5-8 record with a 4.95 ERA. He’s dealt with a consistent knee injury that has held him back all year.

 

New York Yankees: Expect Luis Severino to make huge impact for the postseason

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

New York Yankees’ right-hander Luis Severino has only made two starts in the 2019 season but has looked like his normal ace self. He hasn’t allowed a run in nine total innings pitched where he’s fanned 13 respectively in that time.

The Yankees are building up Severino’s pitch count and innings which could only mean they are intending on bringing him back as a starter or back-end starter.

“To me, he’s demonstrated enough to be an option (as a starter),” said manager Aaron Boone. “We have a lot at stake moving forward here and we want to make sure we do everything we can to optimize that he’s a part of things.”

Regardless of what role they put Severino, he’s a big piece of the puzzle. Especially with Dellin Betances out for believed to be the rest of the season, having Severino healthy and back pitching is monumental for the club.

“Our ace is back,” said Aaron Judge. “I’m excited about it; just at the right time. He’s coming back, he’s healthy and that’s the most important thing. I really don’t care what he’s doing right now on the mound but just as long as he’s healthy and we have him for the postseason, I think we’ll be in a good spot.”

Severino has been sidelined for the majority of the season with a right lat and rotator cuff strain.

Last season with the New York Yankees, Severino went 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA and 220 strikeouts over 191.1 innings pitched. After clutching up and delivering the win during the Wild Card game against the Oakland Athletics, Severino severely struggled against the Boston Red Sox in game three of the ALDS.

The expected rotation for the postseason consists of James Paxton, Luis Severino, and Masahiro Tanaka. J.A. Happ and C.C. Sabathia have both been moved to the bullpen since they haven’t proven a starting role for the playoffs.

 

New York Yankees: Luis Severino should be a starter in the postseason

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

NEW YORK YANKEES – With the looming starting pitching issues that have been apparent all season, the Yankees should consider utilizing Luis Severino in his primary role as a starter for the postseason.

Granted Severino hasn’t pitched against the most dominating lineups in his first two starts of the year, but he’s still getting the job done. In both starts, he’s looked like the same pitcher from the beginning of last season. Another thing to note is that Severino’s arm is fresh and new, there’s no fatigue since he had just begun his season.

In two outings, Severino has allowed no runs on five hits through nine full frames. He’s fanned 13 respectively while only walking two.

There could be an argument that Severino should be coming out of the bullpen if he had struggled recently, but he hasn’t. His velocity is at the normal range and his off-speed pitches have been devasting.

The decision will ultimately be decided based on his last start of the regular season. If he’s able to continue this way, manager Aaron Boone will most likely have Severino starting games.

It’s believed that Masahiro Tanaka will be in the rotation, who is credited to an 11-8 record and a 4.47 ERA. Tanaka is known for his consistent dominance in the postseason where he holds a 1.50 ERA. James Paxton who has won his last 10 starts is being considered as the game one starter, is credited to a 15-6 record and a 3.73 ERA.

With Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton believed to already to be locked in the postseason rotation, adding Severino would be monumental for the New York Yankees.

CC Sabathia and JA Happ who have been starters their whole career will be coming out of the bullpen for October. They are lined up to be relieving starters this week to get them ready for their postseason role.

New York Yankees cut Breyvic Valera to make room for Severino

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

With Luis Severino’s return, the New York Yankees had to find room for him on the roster. The club announced Tuesday that they have designated Breyvic Valera for assignment to find that room. Coming off the 60-day injured list, Severino is expected to play a significant part during the postseason if all goes well. They intend to work up his pitch count and innings, either returning as a starter or working out of the bullpen.

Severino signed a $40-million contract in February before suffering his injury during Spring Training. He had missed all season dealing with a rotator cuff, shoulder, and lat injuries. Severino had a 19-8 record last season with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.145 WHIP. He made his 2019 season debut Tuesday night where he went four innings with two hits, two walks, and four strikeouts.

Valera was claimed off waivers from the San Francisco Giants earlier this season, who’s been in the middle of the Yankees’ “next man up mentality.” In 12 games, Valera was slashing .219/.324/.313 (Baseball-Reference). In triple-A this season with the Yankees affiliate, Valera balled out. He batted .315 with 13 home runs and 49 runs batted in.

The 27-year-old has been with four different major league teams in three seasons including the Dodgers, Orioles, and Cardinals. The Dodgers sent him to the Orioles in the Manny Machado trade.

Valera will not have minor league options next year, so if there’s any team that wants him will have to add them to their 2020 roster or pass him through waivers again (MLB Trade Rumors).

 

 

New York Yankees: Give Giancarlo Stanton the credit he deserves

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Santon

The New York Yankees have one of the best players in baseball and there are fans who aren’t giving him the credit he deserves. Giancarlo Stanton is one of the premier outfielders in the major leagues and good news – he’s coming back for the next homestand.

I get it, the Yankee fans have the “what have you done for me recently?” mindset but when Stanton is at 100%, he’s absolutely terrifying at the plate. This is a guy who won MVP in 2017 with 59 home runs and 132 runs batted in. His first year with the Yankees he struggled, but still hit 38 long with 100 RBIs.

Not only a dominant force at the plate, but Stanton doesn’t get the defensive recognition he deserves. He’s far above average in left field and makes every routine play. Stanton has a career .980 fielding percentage and has only committed 44 errors in 2228 defensive chances.

Manager Aaron Boone has mentioned a timetable for Stanton’s return where he said the team expects him to return on September 16 and from then on he’ll be an everyday player.

“He got a lot of outfield reps and a couple innings worth of at-bats where he saw a lot of pitches again,” said Boone. “He’s been seeing a lot of pitching, a lot of at-bats. He’s continued to feel good about how he’s responding to it all.”

The New York Yankees are anticipating a strong return for Stanton heading into the postseason. Having his bat back in the lineup will be huge for the Yankees.